A new model of interpreter-mediated aphasia assessment for people from diverse language backgrounds
thesisposted on 2022-03-29, 02:08 authored by Hui Tao
Aphasia is a non-degenerative acquired communication disorder that commonly occurs following a stroke. Patients who develop aphasia require comprehensive and structured language assessments by a speech pathologist in order to plan appropriate therapy. For patients from diverse language backgrounds, an interpreter generally assists with this language assessment. However, previous research has identified shortcomings of the current model of interpreter-mediated aphasia assessment. This research investigates the efficacy of a new model of interpreter-mediated assessment that has been described in the research literature. In brief, this entails splitting the assessment into two separate sessions: the first is a video-recorded language assessment, while the second involves the speech pathologist and interpreter in a collaborative analysis of the recording. The study recruited a Mandarin-speaking patient, an English-speaking speech pathologist and a Mandarin interpreter. Through framing analysis of the clinical sessions, and post-session interviews with the interpreter and the speech pathologist, the findings demonstrated that there was useful information exchanged by the speech pathologist and the interpreter during the debriefing session, which might not have happened in the current practice where there is no formal debriefing session. It is important to note that due to COVID-19, the patient and the speech pathologist participants were in the same room, but the interpreter mediation was through telephone contact. The useful information included discussion of syllable and phoneme structures in English and Mandarin, the role of Mandarin dialect variation in aphasia assessment, the role boundaries for interpreters, and the feasibility of the new model. The study indicated that follow-up research targeting a range of languages may be useful to achieve a more comprehensive picture of the new model. Specific training for interpreters and speech pathologists on issues highlighted by the findings of this study may also improve the assessment process and outcomes.